Friday, December 18, 2009

Since artist Art Spiegelman was in the Comic Studies Reader, I'd like to discuss his work that I have analyzed in other classes that was not covered in the book.

In the years following 9/11, Spiegelman produced a comic/graphic novel titled In the Shadow of No Towers. The book is highly critical of the Bush administration and their actions after the tragic events in 2001. He accuses the government as being in on the conspiracy of the twin tower attacks and fighting a war over oil, not to avenge the lives of those killed in the attacks. Many readers were as critical about Spiegelman's book as he was about the events that motivated him to write the book. When I analyzed In the Shadow of No Towers I tried to humor Spiegelman and actually found his work to be refreshing. If you take what he wrote, and drew, with a grain of salt you can see his true purpose.

Throughout the graphic novel, Spiegelman takes jabs at war, society, political figures, newspapers, news channels, and even himself. But this can be seen as Spiegelman's way of releasing a little bit of pent up anger and emotional unrest. For instance, one of the main themes he writes is about "waiting for the other shoe to drop". He was feeling no closure when after 9/11. He wanted something to ease his mind after such a tragic event. His main technique is the use of hyperbole to emphasize the paranoia that America felt after 9/11. I think after reading his book I can come to the conclusion that he was providing an extremist view on the events that was at the complete opposite end of the spectrum from the government's. Through this he could allow his readers to seek the middle ground that was needed in seeking closure on 9/11. This was the purpose of Spiegelman's intense and overt politicization on the topic.

This is one of the benefits of using images and comics to describe an event. He made the situation more dramatic and provided an emotional insight that journalism couldn't offer.

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